I believe that gratitude is a wonderful thing to feel and to also receive. It means that there is a give and take involved with another human being. That you are receiving something, but also giving something that allows you to feel grateful in return (or vice versa). This weekend was my Senior Project Dance Concert which involved many different elements working up to it that caused me to feel quite insane a number of times, but the actual concert was such a wonderful experience. The concert included a piece that I choreographed, plus a solo that I danced myself- plus the choreography and solos of four other seniors that I shared the concert with. Having the opportunity to share and present my work and dancing in this manner was such a privilege, and I finished this weekend feeling utterly grateful for the many people in my life, and the gift of dancing that I am able to share with others.
Feeling gratitude in my dancing is not something I have felt quite often. However, as I was dancing my solo for the last time on Saturday evening, that was exactly what I was overcome with. Receiving support from many family members, friends, and classmates was an overwhelming and humbling thing, and my heart was filled with joy to know that my dancing was greeted with support and warmth, allowing me to truly dance from the heart.
So perhaps take a moment to wrap yourself in the feeling of gratitude, and share a little of that feeling with those around you whether through words, actions, or the expressive nature of dancing.
In honor of this wonderful leap day, and the warmth we are having for February!
Have you leapt today? If you haven’t, go find a dance studio, an aisle in the grocery store, or an open field and let loose. It is a wonderful feeling.
So yesterday was my birthday, which included a full day of dancing as per usual. Honestly, I would not have it any other way. Some days full of dancing are really rough; taxing on the body and on the mind. When every movement you make is constantly analyzed and your body is viewed in such a vulnerable state, it is often hard not to be over critical and beat yourself up about anything you do wrong. However, yesterday I decided to take a different approach. I let myself be in the moment and enjoy the fact that I am alive, that I am dancing, that I am able to do what I love right now in this moment. Really that is all that matters. Changing my attitude for the day, made me have much more fun than I have been feeling lately with my over-critical mindset. Did I do everything perfectly? No. Did I land every pirouette in ballet class? No. I did not enjoy myself more because everything was perfect. Honestly, nothing is ever perfect. It is all about the way you approach things and what you are telling yourself up there in your mind. If you tell yourself everything is bad and wrong, well it is going to be bad and wrong.
Your mind is such a powerful thing, and I believe it is time we started using it to spread positivity. I feel like it has become a recent trend to be negative and hate on people or things in popular media and society these days. Even to the point where teen clothing features written statements of negative context. I don’t know why this has become the new ‘thing’, other than the fact that it is easier to be negative and focus on all of the things that go wrong, and all of the things that you don’t have, but there is so much to be grateful for! When you can appreciate the little things, you realize that the bad things really aren’t so bad. That is what I did yesterday, and that is why it was a great day. So this is what I challenge you to do. Even just for one day, look at the world with a positive mind and turn off those negative thoughts that stem from the little you inside your head. See where the day takes you!
You did it. You survived Valentine’s Day. Whether you are single, in a relationship, in a “complicated” relationship, in a “it’s not yet a relationship” relationship, in a “we are just talking” relationship, or a “I wish I was in a relationship with you, but you don’t know I exist” relationship, you probably thought about a special someone, or a few special someones this past Valentine’s Day. Past or present, feelings that you have for another human being are sure to show up and remind you that “I am here” on this special day whether you welcome them or not.
But it is okay. These feelings remind is that we are alive, that at some point love will touch us all, and although it is frightening, annoying, and exhilarating all at the same time, it is a beautiful thing. As much as we may want to say sometimes that we don’t need love, or that it doesn’t exist, we all know that is a lie. Even if it is the love you have for your family, your friends, or your pets, love is necessary and assists us all through the hard times in life.
Just as love shown in everyday life, love shown through dance is a beautiful thing. Have you ever danced with your crush or significant other? Wasn’t it nerve-wracking, but magical and super fun all at the same time? I honestly can say that I never have had as much fun as when I was dancing with a guy I had feelings for. As an enthusiast and practitioner of ballroom dancing for many years, I became used to enjoying dancing with anyone. However, when I had the opportunity to dance with someone I viewed at a different level, everything was enhanced by quite a percentage.
Check out this beautiful video that uses dancing as a means to accentuate the love that these couples share towards each other. A clear example of how dance speaks louder than words.
One of the best ways that dance adds to the world, is by making a statement through movement and physical expression. Word are everywhere, constantly bombarding us on the daily with statements, expectations of right and wrong, and generalized opinions that we are often expected to conform to. Therefore it is often refreshing when an idea or opinion in support of something is expressed through the means of dancing. Not only does dance allow for a new way of expressing something, but it also becomes a more honest assertion as it involves the vulnerability of your whole body, and not just words.
In honor of the Superbowl this past Sunday, dance was used in a major way during the halftime performance by Beyoncé and her backup dancers. Although the statements that Beyoncé made through this particular performance were quite controversial by different viewers across the country, nobody can deny that a statement was indeed made, and accentuated because of the direction and style of the involved movement within it. The use of formations to create an image, and dressing all of her backup dancers in the same exact costume adds to artistic expression. If you haven’t seen the halftime performance yet, check it out below.
(Start at 7:05 for Beyoncé)
We all have a certain something that constantly appeals to us, draws us in, and captures our attention. It could be as simple as a food, a television show, a person, an environment, or a feeling. However, when you find that something that makes you feel more alive than anything else, you’ve got to hold on to it.
Adrenaline. That’s my thing. The adrenaline rush that you get from dancing on a stage, in front of an audience, is like no other feeling. I still remember the first time that I performed a solo on stage by my lonesome. I was literally terrified, but the mixture of nerves and excitement tossed into the recipe of physically being active, produced this otherworldly environment that I was enticed to revisit again and again.
Adrenaline is defined as: a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, especially in conditions of stress, increasing rates of blood circulation, breathing, and carbohydrate metabolism and preparing muscles for exertion. So it turns out, adrenaline is actually the perfect tool to prepare you for a performance, aiding in the ultimate physical activity that your body must exert.
Here’s a visual representation:
The chemical makeup of adrenaline
The molecular formula for epinephrine is C9H13NO3. C as in Carbon, H as in Hydrogen, and NO as in Nobelium. And there is your brief science lesson for the day.
Hello and welcome to my blog! Dance as Medicine is a place to discuss the many ways in which dance serves as a form of ‘medicine’ to the everyday world through physical methods, visual inspiration, and within the body and mind. Although dancing sometimes can be the reason for the possible need of medicine-as it is quite taxing on the body- I believe that the art form holds better benefits than any pill could. Personally, I don’t take any medications such as Aspirin, Tylenol, etc. Call me strange, but unless I’m deathly ill or injured, I’m not putting anything in my body that will sometimes only mask a problem until a later date. Dancing allows me to feel alive and makes the world an inspiring, thriving, and alluring place to be. So let me share with you the many gifts that dance has to offer.